Alison McLean

Ebesu Robata & Sushi

In the months before coronavirus arrived, Ebesu was one of the Dallas area’s most exciting new restaurants, an all-around excellent Japanese spot with no weaknesses and some unique strengths. Most excitingly for many diners, it brought the kind of excellence and attention to detail usually associated with Tei-An and Tei Tei Robata, in central Dallas, to the suburbs with its location in downtown Plano. Now suburbanites, too, can enjoy great grilled fish collars, exquisite specialty sushi rolls and boxes of rice topped with salmon roe. During the pandemic, they can also order loaded takeout bento boxes, rice bowls and family-sized sushi platters. It’s no wonder that when this author last visited Ebesu in person (a month before the virus arrived), one of the other customers was Yutaka Yamato, whose namesake sushi bar in Uptown is also on this Top 100 list.

Top pick: The flamboyant house specialty sushi roll, “Super-Long Niku!”, absolutely earns its exclamation mark. Its rice is topped with thin slices of grilled beef, fried leeks and an arugula puree. Bring friends, because there are 16 pieces. (Alas, Super-Long Niku! is not available as takeout.)

The downside: The one and only preparation we didn’t love in our early visits was tempura.

Fun fact: This is the first American restaurant for an ownership group that operates multiple kitchens in and around Tokyo.